Categories: Salads, Sides
So in my last post you got to know how much I love grilling, and in previous posts you found out that sometimes life comes knocking on my door with lots of lemons. Well as luck would have it I got a fresh batch of life's lemons and could think of no better way to restore my inner balance then firing up the grill It's funny how cooking can be such a stress reliever. It's all on how you look at it. I try not to approach a recipe filled with stress, instead I always look at it as a loving adventure. Even if it doesn't turn out, I find I learn so much in the process. And because I often cook with my sweet hubs, I look forward to the time we spend together in the kitchen. I know, I am one lucky lady. He also does dishes and laundry, sorry, but he's an only child (I get asked that a lot). Anyways, I have been dying to try a grilled romaine salad and wanted to pair it with a tangy lemony Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy garlic-kissed croutons.... Must pause to wipe the drool off as I am typing this. Ok, I am composed again. With lemons in hand I set out to create a dressing so creamy, rich, and satisfying that even the pickiest person would not miss the eggs. This dressing is lemon perfection. It will brighten even your grayest day. This salad is so easy to make too, but looks unbelievably gourmet. It's 5-star dining without ever leaving the house or paying the HUGE bill that's the best kind of dining! Time to find your inner zen... Gather up those lemons and get ready for dining bliss. Peace!
Tangy Lemon Dressing:
- 1/2 cup of Vegenaise, or other vegan mayo
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp agave syrup, I used light
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups of bread, cubed in about 1" pieces
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2-3 hearts of romaine lettuce, sliced in half lengthwise, washed well and patted dry
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment (this step is optional, but makes for easy clean up). In a large bowl or ziploc bag, toss all of the crouton ingredients together. Spread in an even layer on the cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven, flip croutons over and bake for another 3-5 minutes until crispy and lightly golden. Set aside.
Next, preheat the grill over medium heat. Then place all the dressing ingredients, except the olive oil, into a food processor. Puree until everything is well combined. While the machine is still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Puree for a few more seconds after the last of the oil is added, then stop the processor. The dressing should be slightly thick and creamy, very much the consistency of a Caesar dressing. Set dressing aside. I usually put mine in a squeeze bottle at this point so I am ready to create pretty drizzles.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the cut side of the lettuce and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place romaine hearts on the grill, cut side down, and sear for just a minute or two. Gently remove from the grill.
To serve, place a romaine heart, cut side up on a plate or platter. Using your squeeze bottle or a spoon, drizzle the lettuce with some of the tangy lemon dressing. Top with a handful of croutons and a little fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately. The longer the lettuce sits the more it will wilt, so serve as quickly as you can after grilling. Serves 4-6, 4 if you use 2 hearts and 6 if you use 3 hearts. Enjoy!